3 member(s) found this review helpful.
In Lisa Gardner's "The Neighbor," Jason Jones and his twenty-three year old wife, Sandra, appear to be a normal American couple. He works nights as reporter for a Boston newspaper and she is a conscientious middle school social studies teacher. They dote on their adorable and precocious four-year old, Clarissa, whom they call Ree. However, nothing in a Lisa Gardner novel is ever straightforward. When Jason and Sandra married, he was thirty and she was eighteen. Neither one revealed to the other certain horrific secrets that they preferred to keep buried. As Sandra says, "It seems we go longer in silence all the time." Her husband has a tendency to be morose, since "he believed at all times that the worst could happen."
The trouble begins when Jason comes home from work early one morning and finds his wife missing with Ree asleep in her bedroom. Jason knows that Sandra would never willingly depart without Ree. Did someone abduct Sandra or did she leave of her own accord? Working on the case is thirty-eight year old Sergeant D. D. Warren, a "dedicated [homicide] investigator and hard-core workaholic." With no useful conclusive physical evidence, there is not much that D. D. and her colleagues can do. However, they are looking both at Jason and his neighbor, Aidan Brewster, a convicted sex offender. Since Jason is egregiously uncooperative when the police question him, the cops soon suspect that he knows more about his wife's disappearance than he is willing to admit. Brewster is a pathetic loner who works in a garage, goes home, eats dinner, and watches television. He is required to report to his probation officer regularly. "The shrinks have a term for it: pretend normal," he says wryly. Since he had met Sandra briefly, it is not inconceivable that Aidan took an interest in this pretty young blonde.
Gardner teases us with subtle hints, but only slowly reveals the big picture. We wonder why Jason is so silent and testy when he is questioned by the cops. Yet, even the most jaded individual must acknowledge that Jason appears to be a phenomenal father who knows exactly how to handle Ree's moods. He does everything in his power to make his little girl feel special and loved. The scenes between Jason and Ree are tender and poignant. Questions that are raised but not immediately answered are: Why does Jason spend hours huddled over his computer? Where does Sandra go when she occasionally "takes a break" from her family? Why does this couple avoid discussing their childhood experiences with one another? As we get to know each character through affecting first-person accounts and flashbacks that alternate with third person narrative, we begin to sense that separating fact from fiction will prove to be extremely difficult. Gardner builds up suspense brilliantly and wraps up her story with a series of genuine surprises and a final clever twist.
"The Neighbor" is an edge-of-your seat thriller in which Gardner explores the ways in which computers can be used for good or evil, how horrific childhood traumas can scar a victim for life, and the need that every man and woman has to love and be loved in return. She also touches on the media frenzy that inevitably follows when an attractive wife and mother vanishes without a trace. The dialogue is sharp and laced with mordant humor. This is not your typical escapist beach read. There is a great deal of profanity and some disturbing references to unsavory subjects. "The Neighbor" is a gripping and intense police procedural, a moving portrait of a troubled family, and a complex murder mystery. Few readers will be able to put this book aside until they learn exactly what Jason and Sandra are hiding and why.
2 member(s) found this review helpful.
I need to rate this book in two parts: 1: The entire book up until the last 25 pages 2: The last 25 pages. I would rate 1 5 stars, this was a fast paced edge of your seat thriller, it was none stop, you never knew who did it, there were so many suspects it was hard to keep track but riveting nonetheless, 2: 0 stars, it fell as flat as a thriller can fall, it was completely terrible. The ending (which I will not completely ruin for you here) was just without thought, poorly written and hurried to the point that it makes the rest of this fabulous book pathetic. I cannot recommend this one based ont he end, but I will say that the ride up until the end is not stop thrills. Quite a disappointment to say the least.
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
3.5 - This one didn't grab me like 1, 2, and 4 did and for about three quarters of the book I thought it was me. I usually switch back and forth between many genres and don't usually read the same genre back to back to back. Before reading this though I had read (and loved!) the 1st and 2nd D.D. Warren books. Maybe I was getting burned out was my thought.
In the last quarter I started second guessing myself. I just don't think this is like the other three that I've read. It's not bad by any means - just not as good. I'm very happy that I read the 4th book before this one or I might have incorrectly assumed she'd fallen off.
This kept me guessing, the suspense level is almost on par with the others, and I think it may have been a bit too *busy*. I'm having trouble putting my thoughts into words.
I think the story just, for whatever reason, didn't feel all that real to me. The wife and her dissappearing act, her killing what's-his-name at the same time the other person dies (I'm marking this as having a spoiler but I don't want to say too much.... just in case..) It seemed to contrived.
I don't know - I'm still eager as hell to read [book:Love You More A Detective D.D. Warren Novel|8701129].